Former Hillcrest high two-sport athlete Keith Holcombe will take on the challenge of playing football and baseball this spring for Alabama. 

Holcombe, a linebacker for Nick Saban's football team, has joined the baseball team for the 2016 season and has a chance to contribute in his first year. Head coach Mitch Gaspard told The Gary Harris Show that he's excited about the impact Holcombe can make on his team.

"I've really been pleased with the advancement he's made over being with us for a month and I think that shows the athleticism," Gaspard said. "He's putting himself in a position to play, and there's a really good chance he'll get at least a start this weekend. I think he's capable of potentially a lot for us."

You might think that a 6'4", 223-pound frame would be conducive to a lot of power at the plate, but Gaspard said his speed has been his biggest strength so far.

"Keith really brings a different element to the team and to the game," Gaspard said. "It's game-changing type speed. For us in baseball, just to give you an idea, an average time down the (first base) line at the Major League level is roughly about a 4.2 (seconds). We've gotten Keith down the line early as high as a 3.78 - 3.82."

Alabama opens the season with a three-game series against Maryland beginning Friday in Tuscaloosa.